Construction Today - February 2011 - (Page 8)
what’s behind participants’ distractions. In many cases, although certainly not all, the meeting has not been managed properly in terms of time, subject matter and goals. When that happens, productivity suffers – an unacceptable result regardless of the situation. It’s the least desirable outcome and explains why many are reluctant to use the words “meeting” and “productive” together. A productive meeting won’t be considered an oxymoron if leaders take a fresh look at meeting management and its importance for every business.
At its most fundamental level, meeting management is nothing more than an assembly of people that has been organized and structured to meet its goals. Leaders have presumably set a goal for this gathering and supposedly shared that goal with all attendees. In theory, meeting management combines a number of disciplines such as communication, collaboration, planning, time management, clarity of decisions and follow-up expectations. Sometimes these components are overlooked and when they are, the meeting is likely to descend into a barely organized gathering that threatens its reason for being. Thoughtfully organized meetings create substantive interaction among participants that can lead to better organized teamwork. Managers impress upon participants that their thoughts are valuable and perhaps insightful – a good way to inculcate ideas to be taken seriously. There are times when top-down approaches may be required, e.g. announcing a mandatory policy or work changes, but for the most part successful meetings engender an environment that encourages input. For the construction industry, three types of meetings are most prominent: management, training and education, and brainstorming. Management meetings are generally highlevel reviews of individual and department performances. They tend to be report-oriented. For example, these sessions might include discussions of the status of specific projects, acquisition of new clients, and review of profit and loss statements. Second, there are training and education sessions. These meetings can include “how-to” sessions on the use of a new technology system, project management workshops or build-
They’re not an oxymoron. BY GERRI KNILANS
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM FEBRUARY 2011
s there anyone in business who looks forward to internal meetings? For many, the announcement of one is likely to be met with a silent sigh or resigned shrug. The negative response comes from those who view such sessions as unnecessary intrusions into their daily workload, time that could be better spent doing the jobs at hand. Just watch the body language if a session runs too long. Frequent glances at watches or not-so-subtle checks of Blackberries are dead giveaways that the meeting isn’t viewed as all that important, even though it may well be. To change these dynamics, organizers need to understand
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - February 2011
Construction Today - February 2011
Out of the Blues
Wall Works USA Inc.
Pacific Pile & Marine
Dufferin Construction – Highways 403 and 401 Projects
Natt McDougall Co.
Abhe & Svoboda Inc.
McKinney Drilling Co.
ODOT/Miller Cable Co. – Northeast Ohio ITS Project
Barnard Construction – Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Redevelopment Project
C.A. Barrs Contractor Inc.
Charles Blalock and Sons Inc.
Parsons Brinkerhoff, Hatch Mott MacDonald, Skanska USA, Dragados USA and Tutor Perini – Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement
William Charles Construction – I-39 Repaving
CB Richard Ellis Canada
The Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd./PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Fargo Pacific Inc.
Critchfield Pacific Inc.
Harold O’Shea Builders
Culpepper Construction Co. Inc.
Golden State Framers
Hudspeth & Associates Inc.
IMC Construction Inc.
Jones Lang LaSalle – Empire State Building Renovation and Retrofit
Econo-Malls Management Corp.
Turner Construction San Diego – New Central Library
Trotter & Morton – University of Calgary
Collavino Construction Co. Inc. – One World Trade Center
Danis Building Construction Company – The Indu and Raj Soin Medical Center
F.J. Sciame Construction Co. – Abraham Joshua Heschel School
Eckman Construction – Pinkerton Academy Freshman Building
The Hagerman Group – Parkview Whitley Hospital
Whaler Industrial Contracting Inc.
Construction Today - February 2011